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Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

Completely Credible

January 12, 2010 2 comments

The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. -Psalm 12:6 (NKJV)

When was the last time you had one of “those” conversations. You know- the kind where you walk away and something in your gut doesn’t sit well. Perhaps a vow was made, or maybe there was a smattering of flattery. On the surface everything seemed and sounded fine, but there’s that check in your gut that just won’t go away.

A day or two goes by, and you come to discover that the vow was void and the flattery was fake. The words of the person you trusted were worthless because truth was mixed with lies. You don’t know what to believe, and you’re left to wonder if there’s anyone left whose word you can trust.

Listen, you’ll never have to question or doubt God’s words. They’re pure and untainted by the falsehood and insincerity that winds its way through the human heart. When God says something, it’s absolutely true all the time-with no exceptions whatsoever. Not only is it exactly true, it’s also reliable and credible. With God, what He says is what we get.

Notice that the Psalmist compares God’s words to silver that’s been through the refining fire seven times. In the Bible, the number seven conveys the idea of perfection and completion. In this case, it acts as a sort of exclamation point. It’s saying that God’s words are perfectly pure and completely trustworthy! How reassuring to know we’ll never need to second-guess God’s words to us, which are really the most important words we’ll ever receive in this life. Man will let us down and lie to us, but God never will.

What does this passage reveal to me about God?

What does this passage reveal to me about myself?

Based on this, what changes do I need to make?

What is my prayer for today?

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Always Willing To Forgive

January 15, 2009 3 comments

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. –1 Timothy 1:15 (NKJV)

Ever consider yourself beyond forgiveness? Have you ever done something so horrible, so heinous, so hideous that you can only shake your head and ask yourself, “What was I thinking?” It’s in these moments that a thought can begin to sprout in our minds, a notion that our sin has exceeded God’s grace and that He’s unable or unwilling to forgive us.

Paul’s life proves otherwise. If God ranked our sin, Paul’s would be a solid ten. The Bible tells us that prior to his conversion, he was completely committed to wiping out every trace of Christianity. He was there holding the robes of those who executed Stephen, the first Christian martyr, and soon he was rounding up Christians and throwing them into prison (Acts 8:1-3, Acts 22:20). He even forced them to blaspheme Christ (Acts 26:11) and killed those who would not renounce their faith (Acts 22:4).

So Paul isn’t exaggerating or being diplomatic when he identifies himself as the chief sinner. If there was ever a person who seemed worthy of being disqualified from God’s forgiveness, it was certainly Paul. And yet, the astounding truth is that God was still willing to forgive Him. In fact, Paul points out that God forgave him in order to demonstrate that anybody can find forgiveness:

However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. (1 Timothy 1:16 NKJV)

God is always willing to forgive, no matter what we’ve done or how far we’ve run from Him. That’s a truth that ought to embolden and humble us.

Discuss, Dig, Decide

Discuss forgiveness with your group. Would you agree or disagree that God is always ready to forgive us, regardless of our sin? What Scriptures support your position? Why do you think we find forgiveness so difficult?

Dig into 1 Timothy 1:12-16. How does Paul view the mercy and grace of God? Read Luke 19:10. How do these two passages reveal God’s heart to forgive? How have you experienced the truth of these passages?

Decide as a group to memorize some key passages that can be recalled as you face the accusations of the deceiver. Memorize verses like 1 John 1:9 and Romans 5:8-10. Learn the value of confronting lies with truth, and as a group, begin to exercise the Scripture memory muscles God gave you!

2 Timothy Bible Studies

Love Covers

September 24, 2008 2 comments

Love . . . bears all things . . . -1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NKJV)

President William McKinley was lovingly devoted to his wife, Ida. She was an unhealthy woman and would frequently suffer from seizures that would distort her facial features. Instead of keeping her locked away behind the White House doors, McKinley proudly brought her to the most glamorous social functions and dinners.

Inevitably, a fit would seize her, and it was then that McKinley’s love for his wife would shine. He would drop whatever he was doing, take his napkin, and quietly curtain her face until the seizure would subside. It was William’s love for Ida that led him to cover her flaws.

That’s the way love works. Notice how the Bible tells us that love “bears all things.” The original word here for “bears” can actually be translated “to cover something in silence.” Love’s natural desire is to do what it can to cover the faults of others, not draw attention to them. Even when a flaw needs to be exposed, love does so in a way that’s discreet and appropriate.
Love covers. Isn’t that essentially what the cross represents? Wasn’t it God’s love that led Him to cover our sinful shortcomings by allowing His Son to die on our behalf? And aren’t we thankful that this is how God has dealt with us?

So how do we react in the presence of other’s flaws and faults? Are we quick to shine the spotlight on their shortcomings? Do we gawk and gossip? Or is there something inside us that wants to spare people the pain of having these things unnecessarily exposed? That “something” is love, and it’s more concerned with covering shame than advertising it.

He who covers over an offense promotes love . . . (Proverbs 17:9 NIV)

Small Group Time: Discuss, Dig, Decide

Discuss with your group the power of love. Share a time when you have seen someone’s loving action cover up the shortcomings of someone else. What impact did this make on you? Can you think of a Biblical example of this?

Dig into 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and Proverbs 17:9. Check these passages out in different translations. What’s the point of this proverb? How has this truth been seen in your own life? How has God covered your offenses?

Decide as a group to cover over offenses with love. Schedule a visit to your local jail or prison. Challenge your group to share the love of God with those there who desperately need hope. This simple act can make a life-changing difference!

http://www.activeword.org

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Married Couples Bible Study

Forced to be Quiet

Fireproof Your Marriage

Seeker Sensitive

September 10, 2008 1 comment

Luke 15:1-7Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’  I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

When Jesus tells this story he is drawing from the Old Testament passage found in Ezekiel 34:11-12  ” ‘For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.

This passage makes it clear that God seeks lost sheep. When a sheep goes missing, who seeks who? Does the sheep seek the shepherd? Or the shepherd, the sheep? Obviously it’s the shepherd who seeks the sheep. That’s why David says in Psalm 119:176 I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek me.

God still seeks lost sheep, he seeks through human beings who share his concern. Those whose concern will outweigh the inconvenience (to put a sheep on your shoulders is heavy, a sheep can be between 70-90lbs.) Who can seek while also carrying responsibility for what they’ve been entrusted (to go seek a sheep, the shepherd would need undersheperds to assist with the 99.)

Cool story, when Muhammad ed-Deeb found the Dead Sea Scrolls in Qumran Cave I, he was a shepherd boy looking for a lost sheep. He counted his sheep and when he discovered that he was missing one, he left the 55 with two undershepherds and then in his search found the Dead Sea Scrolls, probably the greatest impact of any archeological discovery on Biblical study.

Who embrace the joy of finding the lost. (Some of those listening to Jesus would know the joy of finding lost lamb after searching like mad in the dangerous wilderness.)

I find it interesting that Jesus said that it brings more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. The question is, how many people don’t need repentance? The righteousness who need no repentance only exist in their own mind.
This has me thinking, what does it really mean to be seeker sensitive?

Is ‘seeker sensitive’ being attentive to visitors and guests who come to our church on Sunday? Or does it mean that we tune in our hearts to heaven everyday? Being receptive and responsive to the great SEEKER and His prompts to join Him. Today I want to be seeker-sensitive; to be aware and perceptive of what the SEEKER is up to. God invites me to co-labor with him, be a co-seeker in finding the lost sheep.

This requires that: I share his concern. To be disturbed in my soul for another person. That I realize the gravity of the person’s need. I am willing pay the cost of inconvenince. To share in God’s concern and seek with him will cost me personal time, money, sleep, reputation…what else will it cost me? If I share his concern and join in the seeking then I will get to share in the joy when one person is found.

It helps me to remember that there is not one person on the planet who God is not already pursuing. God is at work in every life. We just have to be sensitive to the SEEKER and find out how he’s working.  

View more studies from Pastor Kevin Queen at http://www.kevinqueen.com

Life Verse

July 10, 2008 5 comments
Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the Lord and to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel. Ezra 7:10 (NLT)
 
If you wanted to know what Ezra was all about, all you need to do is look at the verse above. We might even call this Ezra’s “life verse,” because it really sums up his entire life. And what we need to take note of is that Ezra’s life really revolved around the Law of the Lord (or God’s Word).
 
We can break this up into three distinct parts. First of all, we see that he was determined to study God’s Word. Second, we read that he devoted himself to obeying it. And lastly, Ezra had dedicated himself to teaching God’s Word to others.
 
Did you know that this can serve as your life verse as well? It’s His will for each and every believer to study or seek out His Word. Our hearts should be hungry for more and more of His Word (please refer to July 3). But the Lord doesn’t want our Bible knowledge to stay stagnant in our brains. He wants us to practically obey and apply what we know (James 1:22). And once we’ve established a lifestyle of obedience to God’s Word, He wants us to share what we know with others (Matthew 28:20).    
 
A lot of people are looking for purpose in their lives. They sense that they’ve been created for something important, but they don’t know what that is, and they’re frustrated and discouraged. Perhaps that even describes you.
 
God’s Word provides us with all the purpose and direction that we could ever need. It gives us something to pursue, it gives us something to apply, and it gives us something to share. If you haven’t already done so, allow Ezra 7:10 to become a verse that defines your life.
This bible study was prepared by Bob Coy of The Active Word.
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I wanted to also share a video that was powerful to me when I watched it. It’s a video of Jason Upton and he says, “There’s a power in Jesus life because he wasn’t bought by the world. There’s alot of people that run around in the church and we call ourselves Christians, but we’re bought by the world system. Right inside the church. “
Categories: God's Word Tags: , , ,

Idolatry Is…

January 29, 2008 1 comment

“You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:3)

What is an idol? It isn’t an ancient statue that’s carved out of wood, stone, silver, or gold. An idol is far more elaborate and relevant. The verse above defines an idol as anything in a person’s life that comes “before” God. The Hebrew word for before carries the connotation of “above”. Whenever we allow anything to be above God in our lives, it becomes an idol, making us guilty of idolatry. Idols have a million different faces. Some are obvious; others, subtle. Regardless of the particular idols in our lives, we need to keep three things in mind when it comes to idolatry.

First, idolatry is serious. The Bible teaches that those who persist in idolatry will have no inheritance in heaven (1 Corinthians 6:9; Ephesians 5:5) and are destined to suffer eternal torment (Revelation 21:8). These warnings are as strong as any in Scripture, showing us that God takes idolatry very seriously, and so should we!

Idolatry is also internal. We often mistakenly think of idolatry as an external act of bowing before a sculpture. In reality, idolatry is an internal condition of the heart. In Ezekiel 14, God repeatedly describes His people as having set up countless idols in their hearts. Outwardly, everything seemed in order, but they were inwardly broken and blind to the fact that they even had this problem. The same thing can happen to us when we fail to realize that the potential for idolatry ]is always as close as our own hearts.

Finally, idolatry is correctable. God does not point out our problems without graciously giving us a solution for overcoming them. The prescription for correcting idolatry is given to us by Jesus when He taught, Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness . . . (Matthew 6:33 NKJV). We to make it our daily discipline to seek the Lord and to be preoccupied with His righteousness, faithfulness, and goodness. In the light of God’s glory, all idols lose their luster and we find freedom from this besetting sin.

Questions to Ponder

  • What comes between you and the Lord?
  • How will you correct this?

This Bible Study was prepared by Pastor Bob Coy of Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale.

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